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If any of you are wondering how this post and "Avalon Hill" before it are appropriate for Daily Kos and its "Taking on the System" spirit, I'm all about "taking on" conventional wisdom about parenting and youth development.  I am advocating for a more facilitative (rather than directive) approach to parenting, as opposed to the "tough love" approach of many conservatives and the "helicopter" approach of many liberals.  I am also promoting the idea of "unschooling" as a legitimate educational path along side conventional instructional school, more holistic alternative schools and more academic homeschooling.  My two most recent posts are looking at one of my "leisure activities" that was in fact an area of deep learning and helped me develop skills of life-long value to me, particularly in the economic arena.  Things I never had the opportunity to learn in school.

Anyway...

During my high school and college years I was part of a group of guys that were nerds and geeks (uber nerds) before there were personal computers to be the object of our passion.  We gathered together to play large complicated board games (behemoth successors to the Avalon Hill games I played when I was younger... see "Avalon Hill"), mostly historical war simulations ranging from ancient times to the present day.  We would spend long hours together in one or the others basement or family room late into the night hunched over a table containing a large paper map board with color coded cardboard pieces designating the various formations of the various armies, navies, etc.

These games generally included...

  1. Twenty to forty pages of rules
  1. Hundreds of cardboard counters representing units
  1. Game boards that needed a ping pong table to lay them out on
  1. Numerous charts and tables for combat, supply and other logistical considerations where numerical values and ratios were cross-referenced with a die roll to add some realistic uncertainty to the results
  1. Set up time, before you even played the first "turn", that might take an entire evening
  1. Play time for one complete game that could be one hundred hours or more (played realistically on successive days or weekends, though we rarely actually "finished" any of these big games)

7.More than one player on each side, thus requiring some distribution of command authority

Some of the big games we played included...

La Bataille de la Moscova (The Battle of Moscow)

This was a simulation of the 1812 battle of Borodino with Napoleon’s Grand Armee fighting the Russians at the gates of Moscow.  Hundreds of half-inch square cardboard pieces representing infantry regiments, cavalry squadrons and artillery batteries on a thick paper board the size of half a ping pong table including roads, rivers, towns, woods and hills.

Panzer Blitz

Tactical tank and infantry combat on the Russian Front during World War II.  Again half-inch square cardboard counters representing tank and infantry platoons, artillery batteries played on 9 by 24 inch boards that were ingeniously designed to be modular and fit together in a number of possible configurations.  We would combine the boards and pieces of several game sets, along with additional boards we made ourselves with photocopiers to create huge battle boards that would fill an entire ping pong table.

We even played a "blind" variation of the game, trying to create more of the realistic "fog of war".  We would have two identical boards, separated by some sort of a divider to hide one player or team’s board, and the placement of units on that board, from the other player or team.  A third person "judge" to determine which of your opponents units (infantry, tanks, artillery, etc.) you could see on your board based on lines of sight given intervening woods and hills.

Napoleonic Miniatures

A simulation of tactical combat between infantry, cavalry and cannons using 3-D painted lead figures played generally on someone’s ping pong table covered with green felt over sculpted Styrofoam to make hills, with blue felt streams and model trees for woods.

Much of the effort was in researching, purchasing, painting and mounting the 1.5" metal figures.  You would go to the hobby store and buy say a set of twelve French Guard Dragoons (metal figures on horseback), research in the library (before the Internet, remember) the colors and detail of their uniforms, buy model paints and brushes and paint them, then mount them on wood stands in groups of two, four or six as appropriate to how the unit was configured.

Money and time also went into creating the battlefield.  First you needed a ping pong table (generally the preferred platform).  You would buy one-inch sheets of foam and cut out the shapes of your hills, piling up two or three pieces as necessary for higher elevations.  Then you would cover the entire ping pong table with sheets of green felt, cutting ribbons of blue felt for streams and brown felt for roads.  Houses and other small buildings (to scale) were either purchased or built and painted to make a small village on the battlefield.  Finally trees (to scale) were bought and placed for woods.

You can imagine that miniatures in particular became quite an expensive hobby.  I only invested in a couple battalions of French infantry, but several of my fellow gamers spent hundreds of dollars earned in near minimum-wage jobs to outfit their armies and well appointed battlefields.

Making Our Own Games

Several of my friends and I even made a couple of attempts at creating our own big games.  We spent many hours in the University of Michigan Graduate Library sweating over a large (hot) light table tracing old 1940 era maps of Europe onto sheets of card stock preprinted with the ubiquitous hexagons (which divide the terrain and control movement in many of the war board games) in a half-baked effort to create a monstrously sized World War Two game.  When we finally sorted out how big the map was going to be for the thing we would have needed two ping pong table placed side by side to hold it.  We had more success later with a simulation of the Napoleonic Wars that involved a strategic level board of reasonable proportion (maybe 2’ by 3’) and then creating "battle boards" the size of that good old ping pong table, and hundreds of units on either side, when two nations’ armies confronted each other.  Six of us actually managed to stumble through a game with several large battles.

Hopefully you get the picture.  We loved the history, the strategy, the logistics as well as the systems we would need (in terms of maps, units, scenarios, charts and rules) to simulate that history, strategy and logistics.  We were gaming enthusiasts and budding amateur game designers actually finding simulated real-life reasons for employing many of those math, geography, economics concepts we had learned or might later learn in some school along the way.  We were developing research and analytical skills.  We were learning how to work in project teams and create hierarchies of command and control.

Originally posted to leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 04:38 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  LP, some helpful advice.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, allep10

      You should proof read your diaries before hitting the Publish button.

      Your first paragraph defines your effort

      If any of you are wondering how this post and "Avalon Hill" before it are appropriate for Daily Kos and it "Taking on the System" spirit, what my posts are all about is "taking on" conventional wisdom about parenting and youth development.  

      Only by re-reading carefully do you notice those mis matches of verb to subject, and missing comas,  that makes each reader work harder to decipher your meaning.

      I made a comment below, but you would have gotten a better reception with a bit of editing, that I know you are capable of.

    •  I searched out and read the Avalon Hill diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, allep10

      I'm sorry I missed it.

      I was in sixth-grade and my Dad had had his Gran Marnier and had finished his annual rendition of the Christmas Eve, 1944, mission (he was a B-24 navigator) when he handed me his present: Avalon Hill's Luftwaffe.

      I was doomed...

      The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

      by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:29:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought this was gonna be kinky... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plutonium Page, LordMike, gchaucer2

    Did you know that Peter the Great liked to play with his little soldiers too.

    Member of the "Fellows of the Ass Society." Dedicated to reminding people that most knowledge still comes from books. Not Wikipedia.

    by David Kroning on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 04:41:05 PM PST

  •  Just think of all the books... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    algebrateacher, gchaucer2, blueocean

    ...that could have been read in that time you spent playing games.

    •  I had a religious experience once (6+ / 0-)

      (I believe there was a chemical substance involved) and as I got to the point where I thought I was going to see god I turned to the disembodied voice that was speaking to me and I said "Wait a minute! I haven't read all the right books!"  I was thinking of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Popul Vuh, I believe.  In any event, the answer came back: "Don't worry, you've read other books, better books."

      I didn't see god that day, but I did learn a pretty important lesson...

    •  Game-playing inspired reading/love of history (5+ / 0-)

      On the other hand, the fact that I am more knowledgeable about military history than a West Point honor graduate is, perhaps, a dubious achievement.

      The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

      by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 04:56:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  True... but never learned so much system theory (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:24:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've always been enthralled... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        algebrateacher, Cassandra Waites

        ...with the concept of the well-rounded individual.  We've lost so much of that since the Renaissance.

        •  Yes... The Industrial Revolution was all about... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          algebrateacher

          specialization and expertise rather than well-roundedness.

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

          by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:53:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Part of the conservative refusal to believe minds (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, rserven, Cassandra Waites

          can hold competitive thoughts.  The concept of an individual capable of doing a multitude of activities and thinking in a nonlinear way is threatening to hierarchical structures and those who defend them.

          Seriously, it really, really bothers some people that I can teach both History and Mathematics.  Some would find comfort if I could teach Science (eh, nope) because, of course, Math and Science go one way, English and History another.

          The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

          by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:58:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've also noted that 'thinking as the other' (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            algebrateacher, rserven

            seems to be a real problem with some people.

            I kept at times nearly scandalizing my old church with the things I was reading for class, even when I admitted to them that I actually did not agree with the supposedly scandalous aspects of the works.

            And to some people it's like if you can describe why someone could honestly hold a contradictory viewpoint, you yourself must share it or you wouldn't be able to describe the mental process behind it.

            It's like being able to explain an unwanted concept or even just admitting to being exposed to it means that you're some sort of intellectually infected being.

            The looks I got when even admitting to reading Harry Potter... glad I didn't mention I like His Dark Materials. (I knew enough when I mentioned reading Nietzsche one time to stick his name in a list of less known and less 'offensive' names.)

            Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

            by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:07:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Terrorism Reader. Used book I bought while in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rserven

              college in the latter 70s.

              Thirty years later, if anyone saw that I still have it in my- ahem- extensive library, I'd be on some sort of watch-list.

              The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

              by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:15:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not even stuff like that. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                algebrateacher

                Sometimes it's even something like understanding how someone could hurt enough somehow to doubt God, either in actions or in existence.

                Or being able to understand and explain both sides of a conflict meaning you belong to the side the other speaker isn't on (IP diary people, I am looking at you.)

                And then there's the wonderful view available of the differing views of the writing quality of Left Behind. On one side, there are 'would humans ever act like that?' reactions; on the other, it's an instant bestseller.

                Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

                by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:02:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've run into people who say they believe in the (0+ / 0-)

                  literal word of the Bible.

                  I ask them which translation/version?

                  But I understand what you've written about how pain can cause doubt.  It's a failure, I believe, for others to not recognize that.  Even a character flaw, because it denies a person the chance to be a human on his or her path to reunion with God.  To insist upon "believe it and that settles it" denies the spirit in this world and the next.

                  The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

                  by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:57:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Being hurt does not relate to belief in God (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  algebrateacher

                  I don't think.  People who are hurt go further into their own belief ... atheists become more atheistic (if there was a God, how could this happen), theist more theistic (God must have a plan, or he would not have let this happen).

                  Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies.

                  by plf515 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 08:27:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I remember the "Anarchist Cookbook" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                algebrateacher

                Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

                by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:49:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I get even worse reactions (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              algebrateacher, Cassandra Waites

              when I tell people how I can understand why a terrorist would commit the acts they do. Understanding is not the same as agreement.

              Member, The Angry Left.

              by nosleep4u on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 08:09:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is a useful skill... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              algebrateacher, Cassandra Waites

              to put yourself in another person's shoes and try to see things their way or capture their motivation.  It is certainly a skill a good actor needs.

              Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

              by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:48:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know if I could teach them... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            algebrateacher

            like you do, but those two would be my favorites.

            Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

            by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:45:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I still can't get over the fact (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, rserven

          my original academic advisor (prior to my declaring my major) having issues with me taking courses outside of my intended eventual major even when I could show him that 1) I was on course to graduate with that major even with those particular electives and 2) I was actually going to need those electives if I was going to write the sort of things I wanted to write.

          But no, undeclared English majors should not take advanced courses in other humanities departments unless intending to minor. No matter how useful the course.

          Sigh...

          Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

          by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:59:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  But would it have been *better* spent? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven

      I love to read, but the games also serve a purpose - a different sort of education.

      Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies.

      by plf515 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:48:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The pacifist in me... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515

        ...is a bit horrified by the immersion in the culture of war.  But it is not my life.

        My first reaction was of the extreme maleness, but again, that's probably just me.

        •  I think the population of war games players (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard

          is overwhelmingly male.

          But I don't think it really is a 'culture of war' - at least, for me, it was more about the strategy, tactics, and history.  I never developed the slightest urge to be a soldier, I never played games like "cowboys and indians"; I never even had any urge to play paintball type games.

          The games like Panzer Blitz were like huge intellectual puzzles .... with realism and history as added bonuses.

          Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies.

          by plf515 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:58:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good points I think... (0+ / 0-)

          because it was wrapped up in patriarchy in a way.  The wargamers are almost always males and many of them come to it with a certain degree of megalomania.  I think I did at times.

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

          by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:52:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  And to think some of us spent many happy (7+ / 0-)

    hours just climbing trees, tunneling under hay stacks and looking for four leaf clovers. :)

  •  Not as radical as you imagine... (5+ / 0-)

    Your words:

    We were gaming enthusiasts and budding amateur game designers actually finding simulated real-life reasons for employing many of those math, geography, economics concepts we had learned or might later learn in some school along the way.  We were developing research and analytical skills.

    All of the cool stuff you were doing was built on a solid foundation of the subjects highlighted above.  And most educators now value the unstructured activities you describe.

    It's good that you have a sense of invention, which is part of the excitement that makes it so effective.

    If Bill Gates had stuck to his college plans, and not dropped out after a year, he would have been just another Computer multi millionaire, and we would never have heard of him.

    •  I taught a game design class in a school (5+ / 0-)

      in Atlanta from 2000-2004. I called it "Strategic Thinking."

      Each student was required to create a game from scratch. Each game was played in class and evaluated using a format the students created themselves, reflecting what they valued in quality game creation and play after researching hundreds of games and having the experience of creating and playing their own.

      Several of those students have gone on to either have their games pressed and published (earning royalties) or have used them for college applications and post-secondary work.

      Several of them continue to be played in that school in biology, math, and government classes to this day.

      The diarist may assume this kind of thing doesn't happen in "institution" schools. I'm living proof that it can happen, and does happen.

      One solution is getting visionary school leadership that protects innovative curricula. Another is having teachers trained in and who believe in the importance of the development of student creativity and curiosity.

      Unschooling may be a solution for a few, but what about everyone else? We should also work to create the schools we want and need, not just to run from them, leaving them to the arch conservatives who have wrought the last eight years (and largely 40 before that).

      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

      by elropsych on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:12:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's reaching that balance.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, algebrateacher

        between presenting a body of knowledge, and allowing the freedom to make mastering this knowledge a thing of pleasure for the kids.

        I guess this is what separates the great teachers from the hacks.  And I don't know of any test that separates the two, other than the results of the lives of their students, something hard to quantify.

        •  I agree that it is a matter of balance... (0+ / 0-)

          The teacher suggests a topic to share.  The student decides whether they are interested.  If the student is interested then the teacher presents and the student is grateful.  Then the student goes off to their basement (very possibly without the teacher) and starts to apply their new knowledge.  

          That's my sense of a good path of learning!

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

          by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:32:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why do we need one solution for everybody? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro

        Can't there be a hundred completely different solutions to learning how to be an accomplished person in the adult world?  I'm just saying that unschooling is one of those hundred ways.

        Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

        by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:29:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. This is why I find your diaries (0+ / 0-)

          interesting and thought provoking. I believe you represent that position better than most.

          I see some of those solutions as more viable and more likely for more children than are others, is all. I have chosen to pursue improvements in the system, as frustrating as that choice can be for me, rather than turning my back on it because I see the system as the place where the vast majority of students will experience their formal education. It's a utilitarian argument for me. For those for whom the completely untrodden path is the best one, more power to them. For the masses who can't afford that, or whose families lack the vision to even see it let alone carry it out, they will need people like me who will work to the bone to make their public school experience as positive and helpful as is humanly possible.

          At least, as possible as this human can make it in his little sphere of influence.

          With enough pebbles in the water, though, those ripples can become mighty waves.

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

          by elropsych on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:16:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  King's College Department of War Studies (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.kcl.ac.uk/...

        One of the requirements is to design a game.

        The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

        by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:41:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm... (0+ / 0-)

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:27:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lefty, I'm curious... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, algebrateacher

    What experience have you had, or what have you read, that has resulted in the claim that "many liberals" are helicopter-like in their parenting styles regarding education?

    This claim contradicts my experience in dealing with thousands of parents, and hundreds identifiable as the helicopter-type.

    I'm honestly curious how you come to equate that kind of behavior with liberal"ism."

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

    by elropsych on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:02:11 PM PST

    •  It is my anecdotal experience... (0+ / 0-)

      in a community of white liberal family and friends that many of my peers as parents are very busy spending hours helping their kids with homework, stage managing their after school activities, and targetting the appropriate prestigious college for them to attend.

      But I do have a tendency to love reducing things to very simple (at times overly simplistic perhaps) dualities, which I may have done in this case.  A good point on your part.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:36:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Examples of my experience with hel. parents: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lynwaz, alizard
        1. Child caught cheating 3 (three) times during her NY state Regents test in history. Needs to pass to graduate, and the girl was a 90+ avg. student. The proctor took her test and sent her to the office. The principal made him give her the test back and set her up in a room by herself to let her finish. She passed. Turned out the mother had already threatened lawsuits against the school for other disciplinary measures taken including taking her cell phone when she was caught texting during a test earlier in the year.
        1. Student caught blatently plagiarizing the work of a student who took the same class the year before. The father offered to make a discreet donation to the school in order to make sure no one but the teacher the student and the administrator ever found out about this momentary lapse of judgment. The student plagiarized again later the same semester in a different class.
        1. Students caught drinking on a school sponsored trip to Europe. Were given a 2 day suspension upon return and a parent sued the school when her child was kept of the National Honor Society because of it. She claimed the school was at fault for not providing appropriate supervision. Even though her daughter found a way off the 2nd floor balcony of her hotel room to bypass the teacher in the hallway.

        My frustration with these incidents, and others, is that they go way beyond helping with homework or providing tutors for college essays. They interrupt the natural ebb and flow of mistake-consequence, leading these children to a very entitled view of the world. It exists only to give them what they want and feel they deserve by virtue of having parents who will step in and make sure every dumb decision gets swept under the rug. Yet, blowhards on the teevee only complain about welfare queens who have too many children and pay for them by stealing from the rich. Those arrows shoot both ways, and the parents I've seen really swoop in and cover their children's tracks have never been the poor or working-class parents. They have always been the middle class to well-above middle class parents who feel they have something to protect by protecting their children from the consequences of their own boneheaded actions. The children don't learn the error of their ways, and the parents worldview is confirmed when they get away with it. On the other side, the poor and immigrant families I have taught generally buy the bill of goods and believe that through hard work and keeping their noses clean and paying their dues when caught in a lie or mistake is the path to success. Those who "know better" bend every rule, make every threat, and throw every dollar to keep their own out of that jeopardy. But they still work very hard to make sure the lower-privilege groups continue to buy into the ideal.

        Whew. I feel better. Some pent up hostility on my part, maybe. A little. Maybe should have been my own diary!

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

        by elropsych on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:09:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Avalon Hill, SPI, Age of Empires, Total War... (3+ / 0-)

    Yeah, I've been there and haven't left.

    I can't look at a hexagon without thinking "game board."

    It all started with little army men.  Beware of little army men.

    The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

    by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:12:28 PM PST

    •  Mmmmm... Total War... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher

      I just broke out Rome last weekend for a little replay.

      -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

      by cjallen on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:15:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eventually, the Total War people will address (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cjallen

        World War II.  If they do it in the next decade, I will be "totally" useless after I retire.

        The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

        by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:31:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did Empire come out yet? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          algebrateacher

          I stopped my subscription to PC Gamer, so I've been out of it for a while.

          I'm hoping for a game with all of Eurasia and North Africa, with the Roman, Mauryan, and Chinese empires of their times.  That would be so epic.

          -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

          by cjallen on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:04:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Firaxis "Civilization" games continue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher, Cassandra Waites

      to be a personal favorite, but they take 30-40 hours of game play to reach a conclusion, and I have to spread that out over months anymore!

      Chess.

      On the cell phone.

      On the subway.

      Your move:-)

      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

      by elropsych on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:16:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  According to the Caeser 4 manual... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        algebrateacher, elropsych

        Sierra actually re-released the original Caesar city-building game for mobile phones.

        Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

        by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:24:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Never could get into Civilization and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cjallen, elropsych

        I think it's been totally about how game "pieces" are represented.  Civilization is more 3-D and realistic.  Age of Empires and Total War is more-or-less abstract or even flat.

        I bet this division is a left-over from people who liked to play with miniatures (not me) and those who liked cardboard counters.

        The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 2/18: Up the Down Staircase http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/18/81241/1631/875/698831

        by algebrateacher on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:28:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm. Makes me wonder if there's a division (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          algebrateacher, elropsych

          between people who prefer to use the traditional text symbol version of Nethack and those who prefer to use a graphical interface.

          Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

          by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:30:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I loved Civilization and Civ 2 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          algebrateacher

          They tapped into the same urges as the war games.

          I tried a later Civ (maybe 4???) but it wouldn't run on my computer.  Too much added junk that isn't essential.  I don't need movies about each leader, or animations.  

          Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies.

          by plf515 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:54:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Is that the same as... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        algebrateacher, Cassandra Waites

        Sid Meyer's Civilization computer game.  That is one of my favorites that I spent hundreds of hours late night on my computer playing.

        Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

        by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:37:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, Firaxis is the software company. They just (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          put his name above the title because he's so well known for practically inventing that style of computer game. At least, for inventing the best selling and most award winning version of it.

          The only game, other than chess, that could literally have me looking at the sunrise out the window wondering how I had passed an entire night in ten minutes, wide awake, and completely focused.

          Now, when I am rarely in a campaign, I play it in 20 minutes spurts every 3 or 4 days.

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

          by elropsych on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 06:22:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Civ II, Civ II Test of Time, Civ III, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher, cjallen

      Caesar 2 through Caesar 4, Zeus, Pharaoh, Children of the Nile, Alpha Centauri, Free Col, Battle of Wesnoth... and the 'good lord why did I introduce myself to it' time sink that is the Vulture's Eye Nethack interface.

      Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

      by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:27:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I liked Civ II & Call to Power best! (0+ / 0-)

        Civ II had all those great scenarios and Call to Power had all the cool future technologies.

        Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

        by leftyparent on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:39:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Civ II Test of Time - Sci Fi game version. (0+ / 0-)

          Complete with an alien species making up about half the civilizations, species-specific tech tree sections, and four layered maps.

          There was also a Fantasy version and an Extended Original featuring an Alpha Centauri map.

          Can you see this inaugural, Dr. King? Did you see this?

          by Cassandra Waites on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:49:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I never played with the miniatures (0+ / 0-)

    although my sister married a man who decorated them, in great and precise detail.

    I did play games like Panzer Blitz, both solo and with one other guy .. who liked to play the Germans.

    Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies.

    by plf515 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:46:55 PM PST

  •  Man, Are You One Sick Muthafuggah - (0+ / 0-)

    I mean just because I had a stack of AH games in my closet - from Anzio to Blitzkrieg to 1914 - doesn't mean that I'm not sicko, too.  I preferred Jutland because it's main interactions were outside of the hexagonal grid - very forward thinking.  1914 was the best strategy, but a monster to play - esp. with hidden units.  You could take up an entire weekend and never get finished.  

    My Mom positively hated them - she thought them an utter waste of time and intellect.  However, it did lead me to read the history behind the battles - from Guderian to Nimitz - and later a broader social and cultural history that informed these conflicts.  So all was not wasted.

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